SkyTrain sex assault suspect may have targeted ESL student
Man allegedly forced himself on exchange student, who was too traumatized to report it at the time
TransLink's Transit Police have released surveillance footage in the hopes of identifying a sexual assault suspect who may be targeting foreign exchange students.
Transit Police's Anne Drennan said the images from September show a man who allegedly forced himself on Japanese exchange student at the Gateway SkyTrain Station in Surrey, B.C.
"We're hoping that we can identify this older man who sexually assaulted the ESL student, because it's quite likely he's done this before, and will continue doing this," Drennan said.
The victim, a 29-year-old woman, was too traumatized to report the sexual assault at the time — a common theme, Drennan said.
"With ESL students, we find that, first of all, they are very often the targets of these predators," she said. "They're vulnerable because English is not very familiar to them. They don't know how to report it, or who to report it to."
The 29-year-old woman came forward to police later, after describing recurring nightmares to her homestay host, who encouraged her to report the incident.
Drennan said the woman, who spoke very little English, was trying to buy a fare the morning of Sept. 6, when a man approached her and offered to help.
He then allegedly forced himself on her, and repeatedly kissed and hugged her.
Drennan said the woman was finally able to push him away and headed to the train platform, where she boarded a train.
The suspect, a balding white man in his late 50s, is approximately 6 feet tall and weighs 170 pounds.
He was clean-shaven and was wearing beige pants, a light — possibly green — shirt, a brown jacket and brown shoes, and was carrying a brief case the morning of the assault.
Transit Police is asking anyone with information to call the force at 604-515-8300 or to call CrimeStoppers to submit an anonymous tip.